Hong Kong Sign Language

Autor/a: TANG, Gladys
Año: 2015
Editorial: New York: Oxford University Press, 2015
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


Sign languages differ from spoken languages in a number of ways. First, they are artic- ulated through a visual spatial modality, and second, in language production, they make use of two independent but identical manual articulators (i.e., the two hands), facial muscles, the signer’s body and head, and sometimes vocalizations. The adoption of such many “articulatory organs” has an effect on the ways sign language grammar is structured, in the sense that different combinations of these physiological attributes are employed to encode sign language grammar at the phonological, morphological, and syntactic level, leading to the general observations that the organization of linguistic units in sign language is highly simultaneous (Vermeerbergen et al. 2007). In this chap- ter, we offer a linguistic sketch about Hong Kong Sign Language (HKSL) based on the research conducted in recent years. Besides, the data suggest that HKSL and Cantonese are independent languages displaying differences in certain grammatical properties. A discussion about the linguistics of HKSL would not be complete without a descrip- tion about how it originated in the 1930s in Hong Kong and the course it took until the form we observe today. Like the emergence of a new sign language reported in Senghas and Coppola (2011), the establishment of a signing deaf school played a pivotal role in sparking the development of HKSL in the 1930s. However, it was not until the 1990s that linguistic research on HKSL began. In this chapter, we trace the origin of HKSL since the early 1930s then discuss recent research on the linguistics of HKSL at different levels.

En: Wang, S-Y. & Sun, C.F. (Eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Linguistics, pp. 710-728.